Texas lawmakers passed HB 3582, which makes deferred adjudication now available for first-time DWI offenders in Texas. This means if a defendant completes deferred probation, the charge will not be entered into their criminal record.
Once the defendant is on probation, he/she will be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on each vehicle he/she drives. If the defendant blows at least a .03 BAC level, the car will not start.
This law helps individuals who made a mistake in college or consumed too much alcohol at a family event avoid having a DWI conviction follow them for the rest of their lives.
However, if the defendant is charged for a second DWI offense, the first DWI offense that got deferred can be used to enhance the subsequent offense. This means the second DWI charge is increased from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum one-year jail sentence and a fine no more than $4,000.
If a first-time DWI offender has a BAC of at least .15, causes an accident, causes injury, or kills another person when he/she is charged with drunk driving, he/she is not eligible for deferred adjudication.
The new law takes effect on September 1, 2019.
If you have been charged with a DWI in Austin, contact Smith & Vinson Law Firm today at (512) 359-3743 and schedule a free case review.